Tuna Tar-Tart

I suck at everything. Probably more than you do. I enjoy experimenting with cheese and playing with glue sticks. You might know me from that other joint, LiveJournal.

Oct 022023
 

a/k/a Erin’s Redemption Era

Me, before Riot Fest: We don’t even have to be near the stage. We can just stay way back on the fringe, sit down and relax, etc.

Also me, 30 minutes the Cure’s set: *TRUDGING THROUGH THE MUD AND CROWD WITH ARMS AKIMBO, ELBOW-JABBING THROUGH HORDES OF PEOPLE, TRYING TO GET AS CLOSE TO THE STAGE AS COMFORTABLY POSSIBLE*

We ended up decently close, on the right side, surrounded by a pretty good cluster of Cure fans. It was 10000x better than the crowd at the Blossom Music Center, I will tell you that much right now. I really liked the older couple next to us – the woman was so short, I felt awful for her. There was a very tall guy, like Corey-height if not taller, with his friends in front of her and he was trying so hard to duck out of her way. She was like, “Listen, I’m short – I’m not going to be able to see no matter what! You’re fine!” and for a split second I considered trying to be like her, not giving a shit about seeing, just enjoying the music, etc etc but then they came on stage and I was on my tip toes, craning my neck, bobbing and weaving. It’s so futile, lol. I could actually see, mostly, but also the screens at Riot Fest are EXCELSIOR, way better than the ones that they have at most of those dumb ampitheaters, so it was almost impossible to not see.

The Mars Volta finishing up on the other stage. I think they had everyone in a trance by the end. I haven’t listened to them in YEARS, probably actually since their first album, and I know I saw them at least once back then, maybe twice, so the nostalgia was there for me. Not so much for Henry though. He was acting like his ears were bleeding.

And then magic happened for the next 2.5 hours. You guys. YOU GUYS. It was so nice to just enjoy the concert and not wonder if SOMEONE was going to ask me SOMETHING, etc. etc.  And I think Henry can also attest that the night was a lot more fun for him too, not having any expectations. When they performed “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea,” Henry grabbed my hand and pulled it into the air and I was like “YOU’RE SO DUMB I HATE YOU” but on the inside I was like *rainbows and grilled cheese*.

I love this aerial shot so much, credit to Riot Fest, obviously. I left my drone at home.

This was 100% worth coming to Riot Fest. I love the Cure so much, and I guess Henry is up there too, just not as high. And not as unconditionally.

***SET LIST***

  1. Alone
  2. Pictures of You
  3. High
  4. Lovesong
  5. And Nothing Is Forever
  6. Cold
  7. Burn
  8. Fascination Street
  9. A Night Like This
  10. Push
  11. In Between Days
  12. Just Like Heaven
  13. At Night
  14. Play For Today
  15. A Forest
  16. Shake Dog Shake
  17. FTEOTDGS
  18. Endsong

ENCORE:

19. Lullaby
20. The Walk
21. Friday I’m In Love
22. Close To Me
23. Why Can’t I Be You?
24. Boys Don’t Cry
25. 10:15 Saturday Night
26. Killing An Arab

And Dumb Henry bought me this beautiful poster to add to the collection!

It’s already frame and on the wall going up the steps, right next to the one of the entire Riot Fest lineup <3.

Incredible night. The weather was wonderful. The Cure was perfection as usual. (They are physically unable to put on a bad performance, I swear to god.) The company was….eh. Decent. The only annoying part was waiting for Henry to pee afterward and then the stressful process of catching the train back to the hotel, which actually wasn’t that bad except that I got stuck talking to some guy about my posters and he was definitely one of those guys who asks you questions about music just so he can not listen to your response because you’re a dumb dumb silly goose girl and then before you even finish he’s already on his mansplainin’ podium. He wasn’t THAT bad, just moderately annoying and I was fucking tired and didn’t want to exert energy needed to form sentences.  I was actually kind of praying that he would try to throw down some Cure facts on me just so I could take him to school but he eventually set his sights on the guy behind me who was wearing a band shirt that he could relate to, I don’t know what was going on, I was trying not to fall asleep while standing erect.

There was a line going down the sidewalk just to get INTO the train station thing and by the time our group was the next to get herded through, there was a public transit worker guy who was trying to usher everyone down as far as they could go by hollering, AND IT WAS REALLY COMPLICATED SO YOU HAD TO REALLY PAY ATTENTION, “Everyone keep walking down the track as far as you can go!”

But….they didn’t go as far as they could go. They just…stopped halfway. So, then the train came and everyone just stood there, and Henry and I were like, “Um, we’re going ALL THE WAY DOWN, peace out motherfuckers” and that is how Henry and I got to snag a completely empty car and secure any fucking seat we wanted, while all the other cars were packed to the gills with Riot Festers who were too dumb to FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. Jesus Christ. And people have the nerve to say that Kpop stans are dumb. Mmm.

I’ll end this with one of my favorite Cure songs of all time. When I first moved into this dumb house in the fall of 1999, I used to watch the music video for Fascination Street over and over and over and over and over and…..ugh.

OK now I’m crying. Goodbye.

 

Oct 012023
 

Please bear with me. The next park I’m going to be recapping was one of the most beautiful, epic, and magical parks I have ever been to. I think Liseberg was unanimously everyone’s favorite park on the trip and with good, valid reasons.

We spent two full days here, stayed on site at the park’s majestic and BRAND NEW Hotel Curiosa, while also carving out time to explore Gothenburg. (Spoiler: if I wasn’t already betrothed to Seoul, I’d consider marrying Gothenburg.)

Our first full day in Gothenburg started with coffee in the room:

And just because this was in my camera roll, I’m including it here so everyone will know that this was the ONLY bev I had during the entire trip that I 100% did not like an would never get again. In hindsight, it really does sound fucking disgusting so I dunno why I thought I would like it. Also, we very quickly learned that PEAR is like the national fruit of Sweden. Everything is pear-flavored! I’m not mad about that (so long as caramel sits the fuck down). I had so many wonderful pear dranks, but this sadly WAS NOT ONE.

ANOTHER breakfast buffet to write home about (and I might have literally done so in at least one postcard but sadly the postcards that were mailed from this hotel have not seemed to have reached their recipients as of yet…).

It has been a huge adjustment being back in America and staying in cheap hotels that offer instant oatmeal and packaged Danishes as their free breakfast. That Coaster Crew Life really had me thinking I was Rich Kid Erin again. Th bread table alone had me feeling like the Power of Carb was compelling me to kneel in front of it like it was a goddamn altar.

And don’t get me started on the FIKA SECTION. Dessert after breakfast? MM YES, THANK YOU.

The cake portions were so gigantic, even for this little piggy. Patricia was behind me in line and offered to split a piece of carrot cake with me when I was openly whining about it being too big (mostly because I wanted room for other desserts  too, thanks) because that’s what Coaster Crew is all about you guys. It’s a team sport, really.

Getting our wristbands and meal vouchers. As I go back and edit these pictures, especially the ones like this one that feature so many of our coaster friends, my heart does some weird things.

For early entry, we all booked it to Luna, the park’s brand new family boomerang, because these types of rides are one-train ops by design so the lines can get long.

August asked Henry if he could ride with him and Henry was so smug about it. Bro, he doesn’t think you’re cool! He just wanted to sit as close to the back row as possible, probably!

Anyway, this was a fine ride for what it is! Smooth, pleasant, offered some seriously divine views of the park.

There were a couple of flat rides in that upper area that were also running for early entry but we had to wait a few more minutes for the rest of the park to open before getting to dig in to the rest of the coasters.

When I say this is one of the most beautiful amusement parks I’ve ever been to, please believe that I’m not being hyperbolic. I had watched so many videos on this park fore the last several years but it did NOT prepare me for this. I loved that the part of the park was on a hill, with various ways to access it – steps, ramps, escalators, elevators. So many of the rides were built into the terrain and it was incredible to see the absolute tangle of tracks and realizing that it belonged to three separate coasters AND a log flume.

(MICHAEL JACKSON RODE THAT LOG FLUME! I heard someone say it – Justin probably – and that info nug was firmly inserted into my brain so I kept reiterating it over and over, and yes we did eventually ride it!)

Chooch being annoyed and acting so put-out that he had to wait like a peasant for the rest of the park to open like the GP (general population).

OK WHAT HAPPENED NEXT THOUGH WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITE MOMENTS OF THE WHOLE FUCKING TRIP: The ropes were dropped and we all ran like morons to the nearest coaster – Valkyria, the park’s B&M dive coaster. However, as soon as we ran up the steps into the beginning of the queue, there was a big sign that said NO BAGS were permitted, only small items that could be put in a bin. Chooch and I turned around, saw that Henry had caught up and was lumbering up the steps, and tossed our stuff at him.

“HERE, HOLD THIS BYE!” we cried and ran back into the queue like giddy hyenas. All of the COOL YOUNG GUYS were with us when this happened and they ALL had bags so they were groaning about having to get a locker. Henry, desperate to be cool and probably still running on the high that he got from August asking to ride with him, offered to hold all of their stuff since he couldn’t ride anyway thanks to us being assholes.

Chooch and I didn’t know this was happening at first until they all came running back into the queue, yelling, “THANKS, DADDY!” and one of the guys, Hunter I think, said, “Your dad just offered to hold all of our stuff!”

“That’s why we bring him,” I said cheerfully.

“Oh my god,” Hunter said, laughing.

Also? This was the best dive coaster I’ve ever ridden! (Also it was only my fifth, but still!) I’m not usually a fan of these, but this one had great station theming, a fun layout, the drop went into a smoke-filled tunnel, and the view of the park from the top of the lift hill was just such a vibe.

Baggage claim. I think these were the last two to retrieve their things, so I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of Henry with the whole mound of belongings.

The queue for Helix, which would end up being one of my top 5 favorite coasters of the trip. More on that in the next post!

Kiddieland!

Again, every single park had the loveliest restrooms! Here in the US, you go into a restroom and you have to play the “look for feet under the stall door” game most of the time to see if there are any vacancies. I hate it! Please give Americans floor-to-ceiling doors! I have never felt more comfortable in public restrooms than I had in Scandinavia and Finland.

Chooch and I rode this adorable boat ride that had something to do with gardens, maybe?

OK look. Liseberg is home to Helix and Balder, but WAS THEIR MINE TRAIN MY FAVORITE COASTER OF THE PARK?? It was definitely the sleeper  hit amongst everyone in our group, that’s for sure. Lisebergbanan, you were (Liseberg)bananas. First of all, this coaster is 100% built along the hillside. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be that intense, and it *is* a family coaster after all, but H O L Y S H I T this fucker was so much fun and had me giggling my face off every single time. I think, aside from Balder and Helix which we had ERT on, we probably rode this the most out of everything. I just couldn’t stay away! And with Liseberg’s app, they give you so many opportunities to reserve ride times so you can skip the line, and we pretty much used it for this every time.

Although honestly,  the park wasn’t very crowded so even without using it, the most we waited for anything was probably around 30 minutes.

View from Lisebergbanan’s queue.

You can see Henry in the reflection!

Looks like it’s going to be your basic family coaster. BUT IT IS SO GOOD.

This section of the park was sooo cool and had the best restaurants. We ate at that first one a bit later. What does that say, Skeppsmagasinet??

A darkride about rabbits! The queue was adorable so I didn’t mind that we had to wait for about 20 minutes for a kids ride.

Never pass up a photo op with a mascot!!

OK back to that place for lunch. Chooch and I both had bbq seitan which was DELECTABLE but for me, the real show stealer here was the FRENCH FRIES. Definitely the best goddamn fries I’ve had in quite some time. They were cooked perfectly – the kind of greasy crisp that melts in your mouth. Ugh, this is painful. That picture is causing a flash flood in my mouth. Would I request this for my last meal? I DUNNO, MAYBE??

I think I took this by accident, but it’s the queue line for the HAUNTED WALK-THRU. It was pretty decent. Almost immediately when we came out of it, we ran into Kevin and Pam and Chooch of course was like, “PAM YOU SHOULD GO IN THIS, IT’S DEFINITELY NOT A HAUNTED HOUSE AND THERE ARE DEFINITELY NOT CLOWNS” and she was like, “OK, do you guys want to go in again with us?”

So that’s how we ended up going through a second time with Pam slowing us down and screaming every 2 seconds.

The haunt was really fun though, great theming and some genuine live-actor scares.

We rode the famous log flume on this day too and it was pretty effing incredible. You start out on the main level and the first hill takes you all the way to the top of the hill, where you then proceed to interact with Luna, Helix, and Lisebergbanan. What an incredible log flume, and they even squeegee it for you before you get on!

Rumor has it that it’s going to be removed and, unless the park has no choice but to remove it because of age/deterioration/end of its ride cycle, I really hope that this isn’t true. This is hands down, without there being theming, one of the best log flumes I’ve ever been on for sheer atmosphere and views alone.

Here you can see two Lisebergbanan trains in action.

The author of Pippi Longstocking! She’s also on the 20 kronor bill which I made Henry keep so I could have it as a souvenir,

I dunno any of these people because I’m not current on Swedish pop culture, but I thought these hand/feet prints were really cute and fun!

Here we are waiting for dinner.

DINNER CLIFFHANGER.  Once I get too close to 2000 words in one post, I start to get the shakes. Check back later for the rest of day one at Liseberg.

Sep 302023
 

This is a great video of our day at Tusenfryd! You can see Henry on the escalator, my serving side eye around the 3:00 minute mark, Chooch riding Teeny Weeny…it was a great park! And Airtime Thrills is one of the best coaster YouTubers out there – we were so lucky to be on the same trip as him, even though I was sincerely trying to dodge his camera every day but that’s mostly because I didn’t want to ruin his vlogs with my extreme resting bitch face. You’re welcome, Chris.

I still haven’t had a chance to sort through my pictures of the next park we went to, but this post was from later this night when we arrived in Gothenburg so maybe click the link if you missed this one and want to feel irritated at my refusal to post things in order. :D

Sep 282023
 

Mr. “This Made-Up Holiday Is Stupid” Robbins must be secretly excited to celebrate my NEWLY INVENTED HOLIDAY because he’s been busy making batches of homemade vegan kimchi.

Ahjumma Henry is my Favorite Henry.

In other news, our new rackets arrived yesterday!!!

Mine is a Prince #PrinceGirlie4L

Chooch’s is a Babolat and literally so effing gorgeous that I want to hang it on the wall as an art installation when he’s not using it.

This was just a quick update. I’m going to see Moulin Rouge with Kara tonight and I’m excited because we’re getting drinks first and not to sound like I have a problem, but I need one, lol.

 

Sep 272023
 

Let’s start this recap off with some lunch talk. First of all, OK Norway, I see you with your not-Surge! This actually was moderately triggering because I have a partially blacked-out memory of having a HUGE blow out fight with Psycho Mike in Mingo Park over Surge. Janna – you were there. If you’re reading this, COMMENT DOWN BELOW.

Lol.

Anyway, I was pretty embarrassed at this place because Henry barged in and started piling things on a plate from the salad bar BUT YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO PAY FIRST. Way to constantly be an exemplary posterchild for ‘murrica, Henry. Ugh.

I was so over Henry by this point (I think it was actually the only rough patch of the day, because you know and I know that there were no fully smooth days on this trip as long as Henry was around, haha) but then our food came and I was like, “Oh wow, look at that – I guess I was just hungry.”

This pasta was DELICIOUS! Seriously, European amusement park is quality. These mushrooms tasted like they were foraged from the mountains surrounding the park, I swear to god. It was heavenly. I could have licked the plate.

(Oh yeah, we sat with Kevin and Pam! They were probably making hostage eyes to each other from across the table, like “Hey, how we gonna shake this annoying family? It’s been an hour.”)

After lunch, some BLUE SKY started to peek out from behind the fluffy Norwegian clouds!

(WE WERE IN NORWAY. HOW.)

A troll trail!!

Hnnnng.

Actual troll under the bridge!

Oh man, I loved it.

Came back for a bunch of afternoon rides on Storm. Total walk-on every time. I felt like Chooch and I had a bonding moment with Hunter over our shared love for the backrow on this one. Anytime any guy from that Cool Kid Group acknowledged my presence, I felt so validated. (See also: I’m a sad person.)

Preparing for dorm life.

SKY!!!

SKY AGAIN!!

WOULDYA LOOK AT THAT SKY?? AND THE NORWEGIAN FOREST??

Anyway, Henry and I rode this earlier while Chooch hung back with Pam and Kevin because HE HAD ALREADY RIDDEN IT during his Tusenfryd Orphan Era. It was a fine ride and all but what I want to remember is the young ride attendant who was so happy to talk to us about English thangs and I loved it because I too wanted to talk to HER about Norwegian thangs, primarily: HOW EFFING BEAUTIFUL IT WAS THERE, so beautiful that it did not matter to me one bit that the day started off gray and rainy, and that it was still chilly even with the sun out.

Because, Norway, you guys. Get me back there, STAT. I need to take a walk in the forest.

Our one and only Norwegian #carouselfie!

I was ready for some after-lunch ice cream. As we were walking over to the ice cream place though, Pam called out to us from an outdoor cafe table and said that the word on the street was that the kiddie coaster was running. Chooch was like, “Peace out” and ran over to get that elusive credit because:

  • it’s known for being the smallest coaster in the world (it didn’t seem any smaller than a lot of other kiddie coasters I’ve seen though but I’ll take the thoosies’ word for it);
  • it absolutely won’t run in the rain.

I was too busy enjoying my ice cream with crunchy strawberry things. I think actually it was bits of real dehydrated strawberry? It was so wonderful – so far, Denmark and Norway were killing the ice cream topping game. I STILL think about the Danish pastel sprinkles!!

We meandered over to the little coaster to spectate the madness. Look at all these grown-ass adults in line – I FUCKING LOVE IT. The great thing about our group was that every time an actual kid would get in line, everyone would go, “KID COMING THROUGH!” and they’d let the actual kid cut all the way through to the front. That’s awesome. I love that.

Apparently, it was Jean who first noticed that this was testing, so she sent out a CODE RED on Facebook and word spread from there. Someone posted a picture of it later that day and the caption was “teenie weenie thanks to Jeannie” lol. I think the coaster is literally called “The Smallest One” haha.

Chooch rode with Johnny and apparently only two adults could ride at a time, lol. After Chooch rode, it started to rain just a bit harder than a drizzle and there were still Coaster Crew people in line! It was almost devastating for them but the girl operating it made a call and got the OK to get it running for our group. Iconic. Legendary. Love to see it.

What other obnoxious things can I say about that.

I’m too tired.

This was one of the best rapids ride I’ve ever experienced – it had this awesome serpentine whirlpool feature that was insane. The theming on every rapids ride we did on this trip was CHEF’S KISS.

 

Yeah, this place was adorable. Before we left, we went to the candy shop and filled a bag with so much candy. I loaded it with a variety of licorice, much to Henry and Chooch’s chagrin, and that bag lasted me until we got home to Pittsburgh (I THINK??). When I tell you I miss that licorice. Shoooo.

Freaking iconic. What a day.

After this, we made the drive back down to Gothenburg and I didn’t know it then, but that place. The city, the hotel, the park. All of it. It’s imprinted on my big dumb heart. I’m so excited to start those recaps!

Sep 262023
 

My crude guesstimate of the route our overnight busride took. 

Guys. Before we start talking about Tusenfryd, the only park we’d be visiting in Norway, can I please tell you about how I woke up at one point on the overnight bus trip and the wind was blowing so violently that the bus was slowly rocking side to side. It was horrific. All I kept thinking was, “Is this how I die? When people kept sending me news articles about roller coaster deaths, I’m going to die on the upper level of a doubledecker bus somewhere in….where am I?!”

I couldn’t see much out the window. I’m wondering if this was when we were going over the bridge to Sweden?? Because I woke up at another point too and I believe it was a border check?? I vaguely remember looking out the window, noting that we were pulled over, and seeing at least one person in uniform walking over and presumably getting onto our bus.

Another time I woke up, it was around 4:00AM and we were parked in front of the CURIOSA HOTEL in Gothenburg, dropping off the handful of people who voted against the overnight bus ride. I was kind of confused because at that point, we had like 4 hours left so why not just stay? I guess it was more of the fact that they weren’t into sleeping on a bus, not showering, and then spending a whole day at a park. I guess I get it.

But we paid for this trip with Norway on the itinerary, so if we had to drag our asses through a park wearing the same clothes as the day before, well, that’s what we were going to do. (Actually, I was already wearing layers the day before, so I came prepared with a different top layer to change into – GIRL SCOUT 4L.)

So yeah, if you’re wondering why it’s the next day and most everyone else is dressed the same, well, now you know.

Our grand introduction to Norway was rolling up to a gas station in the morning, everyone lining up for the bathroom, grabbing gas station foods for breakfast (our first skoleboller was purchased here and even though it was from a gas station, it was DELICIOSO – a custard bun rimmed with coconut flakes?? more please), and then brushing our teeth as a group in the parking lot.

It might not have been glamorous, but it was a goddamn adventure!

Got to Tusenfryd around 8:ooAM. This entrance is so iconic! In the background, you can see the famous Norwegian loop, and element on the Intamin launch coaster, Speed Monster, which was the first of its kind. There are only two other coasters in the world with this element and I have been on all of them! Fahrenheit at Hershey, and Helix at Liseberg in Sweden. This is very thrilling to me for some reason. Probably because I am a very empty person who will latch on the smallest things to feel full, lol. That’s me.

Of course, the park wasn’t open to the public yet, but we had two wonderful Tusenfryd representatives taking care of us. That thumbs-up man unlocked the restrooms for us, and the woman was SO FUCKING SWEET and totally excited to give us a VIP tour before the public arrived.

Snagged this from Coaster Crew’s IG story. We’re missing some people who were in the bathroom though! I made damn sure I was around for EVERY GROUP PICTURE.

I think I got this from the event FB page. I love that I’m nowhere near Henry and Chooch in either picture, lol.

The first thing that happened was we got ERT on the park’s brand new launch coaster, Storm: Dragon Legend. The really cool thing is that they did a double launch for us, meaning each train was cycled through twice so when it came back into the station, it RELAUNCHED which was so crazy! They don’t run it like this regularly, so this was just another “I can’t believe I’m here, doing this cool thing with these amazing people” moment.

Either Larry or Jean took this!

I honestly think this may have been my favorite coaster on the trip. You get launched forward, roll back into a backward launch, and then launch forward again at an even greater acceleration before basically getting your face ripped off on the rest of the layout. And then with the double-launch, you come barrelling back into the station and launch forward AGAIN and go through the whole layout a second time. What an amazing experience!! I definitely liked this the best in the back, later on in the day after it warmed up – the backward launch practically left you completely inverted in the backseat. It was so incredibly intense! Chooch still maintained that he liked the front seat better, and I definitely can understand that too. This coaster honestly blew me away.

Chooch in the backrow with Sam – I love that he made his own friends on this trip.

Next, our awesome Tusenfryd host walked us over the Speed Monster, where we got to walk around the infield and go instead the engine room, which was a REALLY BIG DEAL for the true thoosies.

Chooch never waits for us.

Then we just walked right into the station from the employee entrance and got on! Here’s Chooch riding with Debbie! I think this might have been the first train of the day.

I ended up liking this more later in the day when we re-rode it.

After that, the park was officially open for the general public, but it never got crowded. Probably because it was still drizzly and dreary but!! It ended up being a beautiful day after a few hours. We actually to SEE THE SUN. I don’t think we had seen the sun and blue skies since Bakken and Tivoli Gardens back on Day 1! Storm Hans really did a lot of damage over those few days. I watched some news footage on YouTube after we came home and it is actually amazing that the worst we personally had seen was the gale force winds at Farup Sommerland. That storm ripped through parts of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden and was apparently the worst storm the region had seen in over two decades.

More pictures of Chooch being a Coaster Crew orphan.

I vividly remember having SUPER BAD CRAMPS around this time and wanting to curl up in a bathroom stall and die. Luckily, Henry the Pharmacy had Ibuprofen or something and I ended up being OK so pretty much this was the end of the period saga. I had like 87 tampons in my purse and zero accidents happened on my watch. MMKAY.

This coaster was actually terrible. I should note that around this time, we “lost” Chooch. Not really, but we were all in line for the park’s spinning coaster and it broke down. A bunch of us didn’t want to wait, but Chooch opted to stay with some others from our crew. We rode this wooden coaster with Robert and Dawn and I was not a fan. Henry was not a fan. I don’t think Dawn was a fan. But Robert was WOO HOOING to the high heavens. He said he loves rough coasters! I really thought my spine was misaligned after that.

FUN FACT though: People say that the first part of this reminds them of a wooden Phantom’s Revenge because the first drop angles down to the right like Phantom, and then there is another drop right after, similar to Phantom’s as well. I didn’t even realize that because I was too busy having my brain jackhammered out of my head.

This park WAS SO BEAUTIFUL. Even in the drizzle, everything was just so lush and vivid. I need to go back to Norway for real, and soon.

We eventually reunited with Chooch who recounted all of the people he rode with on various rides without us and I had so much FOMO because there I was, stuck with Henry. But then something amazing happened! We ran into Pam and Kevin and rode Thor’s Hammer with them!!

It’s a 3D dark ride and honestly, none of us knew what was going on because, Norwegian, but it was so much fun and of course I had to purchase the souvenir picture! Pam is covering her face because this was a scene with SNAKES and Pam hates SNAKES. If there is one thing I’m great at, it’s instantly retaining the things that people hate, like some fucked up savant, and then using these things later on to fuck with that person.

(Although, I did find out later from Kevin that she hates snakes because her mom was bit by one!!)

OK, I need to end here because Henry is being a baby and wants to sit with me but apparently I’M REALLY MEAN WHEN I’M BLOGGING. So they say.

I’m really having a great time reliving these moments but it’s making my heart feel like it’s on fire. :( Especially because after Tusenfryd comes Liseberg and I had the best time at that park, and in Gothenburg in general. I still can’t believe most of this trip was real. I am so fucking broke now because of it, yet I FEEL SO RICH.

Sep 252023
 

When we last left off, I think I was telling you, Sir Blog, about our breakfast with my work pal, Vicki. God, that was a good time!! After breakfast, she was kind enough to drop us off at Douglass Park. It was around 11:30 at that point and the gates were supposed to open at 11. We said our sad goodbyes to Vicki and skipped across the street to the end of the line (well, I skipped; Henry stalked). As soon as we had claimed our spot in line (which wasn’t even that long), a couple walking past in the opposite direction began announcing to everyone in line that gate-opening was delayed until AT LEAST 2pm due to the downpour that had been happening all through the night and most of the morning. While it wasn’t raining anymore and the sun was blissfully shining, I can only imagine the park grounds were pretty saturated. And it’s already bad enough that the Douglass Park community really, vehemently does not want Riot Fest taking over the park every year, so I can imagine the powers-that-be behind the festival want to do everything within their power to ensure that the grounds don’t get absolutely obliterated like with what happened at the old location, Humboldt Park, in 2014. Phew, that was BAD. That was the last time Riot Fest was ever held there because they kicked out hard on their asses by THAT community.

So…

That left us with a lot of time, and very little to do. I didn’t want to text Vicki and be like, “Come back and hang out with some more, come pay attention to me, come babysit me” because what if she had shit to do!? I didn’t want her to feel obligated. So, we found a cafe that was “right around the block” according to Henry but was actually pretty far away and then by the time we got there, it was like a ton of Riot Festers had the same idea, so the line was practically out the door AND there was nowhere to sit.

We ended up getting on the train thing and going back to the section of town where we had breakfast. We found a sports bar that was crowded but slightly less crowded than all of the other ones on that block and sat down to have a BEER while people were screaming about football. Mm. My favorite environment.

I don’t even remember the name of the bar, it was very standard. And everything was FINE until HENRY told me what beer to order (something called Gumballhead or something) and it was fucking disgusting. Even Henry was not hitting it off with this beer. “I’M SORRY, BUT THIS TASTES LIKE AN IPA, NOT A WHEAT BEER.”

Whatever that means.

It was supposed to have a “lemony finish.” Oh, they got that right. Because that shit tasted like I just licked a table polished with Lemon Pledge, honey.

I am gagging in hindsight.

DUDE. LOL – so I took a break to walk to Dunkin’ with Henry because I wanted to spy (or, if you’re a Pittsburgher, “neb”) on the work that is going on next door — the still-vacant unit that I am lowkey panicking about because I want it to stay vacant forever. The front door was open so I wanted to, you know, casually gawk and see what’s going on but I all I saw the was DIARRHEA wall color, which is….well, somehow less ugly than the color that was over there when Blake lived there. Some disgusting sea moss or something – it made me so uncomfortable. I hated going over there.

Anyway, were was I! Yeah, so we were walking to Dunkin’ but then stopped at the BEER STORE first because I am still desperate for the Jelly Donut bullshit, and well well well, look what I found stinkin’ up the place:

P-U.

Back to Riot Fest day. I kept checking Instagram and it appeared that they were definitely going to open the gates at 2PM, so we left the bar around 1:00ish I think. My original plan was actually to just go there around 2:00 anyway, because I didn’t care about many of the earlier bands until 2pm. So, I wasn’t very broken up about this to be honest. I do feel bad for the people who were upset to see their favorite bands get cut from the schedule though :(

The line to get in wrapped around the block quite a bit and Henry had me panicking, thinking it was going to take over an hour to get in. It didn’t take an hour. I would say maybe 30 minutes because the Riot Fest staff was basically like FUCK IT and started waving people through without even searching most bags. Only one of our tickets was scanned. The guy was like, “It’s cool, I scanned one, just go ‘head in.”

Um. OK. If this wasn’t AMERICA, I wouldn’t have so felt so clenched about this, but spoiler aleart: It turned out to be fine.

The only downside is that we completely missed Thursday, who went on promptly at 2pm but we could hear them on the other side of the fence, at least. I’ve seen them a bunch of times over the years so I wasn’t too sad about it but I would have liked to have been inside to support them.

THAT’S JUST THE MOM IN ME.

So surreal being at Riot Fest again after…how many years ago 2016 was. Most of the ground was dry but there was DEFINITELY some swampy areas and we came out of their with mud-spatter all over our legs. I’m glad I brought my plain black Vans!

My one main takeaway is that even though we hadn’t been there in so long, and even though I haven’t been in this SCENE for just as long, it was like everything was frozen in time. You could really say that the Riot Fest scene is timeless, and that’s not really bad. It’s nostalgic and comforting.

Henry felt neither nostalgia nor comfort.

I had to laugh though because really THE ONE BAND that I wanted to see that day aside from The Cure was the recently-reunited Balance and Composure. You might remember how deep my love was for them before I turned the way of South Korea. Actually, 2016 might have been the last time I saw them, now that I think about it. Their set started at 2:55PM and Henry conveniently was in line to buy the Cure’s Riot Fest tour poster, so once again I found myself alone in front of the scene, crying to B&C. Some things really DON’T change!! But before they came on, I got to hear the end of Cult’s set on one of the main stages. They ended with “Do You Know What I Mean” and it brought back memories of the Early Years at the law firm when this song was an inside joke for Kaitlin and me. That seems like an entire lifetime ago! God, Riot Fest was really doing it to me.

FML.

Oh! I almost forgot. For some inexplicable reason,  I packed my old Hotel Books t-shirt which I haven’t worn in years. I didn’t really think much of until that morning when I put it on. I laughingly said, “God, I hope no one wants to talk to me about Hotel Books because I literally can’t remember a single thing about them aside from that I liked them a lot for a minute!”

I’m not kidding, as soon as I staked out my spot at the stage before B&C started, some guy leaned over and said to me, “I like your shirt!”

“Thanks!” I said, like I fucking made it in my t-shirt factory. And then I got real fidgety, my eyes practically screaming, “IMPOSTER! IMPOSTER! SHE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW THIS BAND!”

All I remember is going to see them at some defunct club on the Southside, getting kind of drunk, and hugging the singer/spoken-worder at the end of the night.

I really did like Hotel Books back then though!! I actually put them on in the car on the way home the next day and my chest got real warm like I just did a shot of Robitussin (Janna’s drug of choice) and I thought to myself, “Oh yeah. There it is.”

But FUCK MY LIFE, Balance and Composure still REALLY do it for me. Like, really really.

After this, I found Henry standing a safe distance away from the crowd. The next band I wanted to see was also on the same stage, but we had about 30-45 minutes to kill so we walked around, checked out The Bronx briefly (we’ve seen them numerous times over the years but it was like a homecoming hearing them live again, if only for a few minutes). Then we went and got some free samples of FUNNY WATER which was fine but I wasn’t ready to commit to a full can of it.

Henry kept asking me who were seeing next and I was like YOU WILL SEE and OH JUST WAIT so he was getting really paranoid, like it was going to be some fucked Jonny Craig side project revival bullshit set.

It was just LS Dunes, but it was funny to me because it’s the latest Anthony Green side project and literally every time we go to Riot Fest, Anthony is there in one form or another. Can you believe we (“we” lol) have been supporting him and all of his projects since 2004?? Staring with Saosin, but really getting in deep with Circa Survive in 2005. I had to actually google to see when it was that we saw Circa for the first time, and it was July 2005 at the Grog Shop, right before I got pregnant, and Anthony signed my Circa CD outside the venue. Say Anything was headlining and I didn’t like them (still don’t) so we must have ducked out before they came on and Anthony was just chilling on a wall outside, with a few fan boys jawing his ear off.

And now it’s 2023, he’s a dad of 3, been in and out of recovery, but continued to be obscenely prolific in the scene. Henry actually recognized his voice, but not his face. I mean, face it – we’re all ageing! It’s just so much more surreal when we see it happen to bands that we have been fans of for decades.

Anyway, LS Dunes – amazing. Frank Iero – amazing. Anthon Green – fucking ICONIC.


I really didn’t take many pictures. We were mostly there for The Cure and I felt pretty distracted all day because of that anticipation.


I got this crunchie vegan person bowl for dinner because my body was CRAVING vegetables. It was…ok. $18 worth of ok. :/

Meanwhile, Henry went off on his own, leaving me to eat alone under a tree a bowl of stuff that tasted like said tree, and came back with a vegan mac n’ cheesesteak. I was jel at first but after stealing a few bites, my final assessment was that eh, didn’t really like it that much.

I also was trying to keep myself from getting sick. I didn’t want to be standing for three hours at the main stage with a bloated stomach. You know?!

LOL JK I still felt like shit!!

Almost forgot to take a selfie. Yikes. Who am I.

Then Finch came on and can you believe it was the first time seeing them??!! I was obsessed with them in 2003? 2004? I just remember going on weekend drives with Henry and fucking blasting them and Thrice.

Henry stalking me. Lol I was sitting in the gross grass because MY STOMACH HURT from that stupid bowl.

The last band to play on this same stage, the only stage we were at all day which is insane because all of my past Riot Fests consisted of me SPRINTING from stage to stage, was the Used. Ugh. It was fine. I didn’t cry. But I also didn’t feel great in the heart.

“Now, which one dated Kelly Osbourne?” asked some guy behind us. “Oh the singer?”

Wow. That was a blast from the past lol.

I miss screaming-Bert. I get that he can’t scream anymore but man, I will never forget seeing them at X Fest on a tiny stage and seeing him puking all over the stage from intensity of his screams.

Those were the days, man.

I felt really fucking old at Riot Fest. Not because everyone was young, but because of all of these bands from my way-back years. I couldn’t handle it. It was a lot.

I’ll end this here. The Cure deserve their own post <3

Sep 242023
 

You know how sometimes people say, “I could really use a weekend doing nothing”? Anytime I try to be like Those People and “appreciate” do-nothing weekends, I end up writhing in psychological agony on the floor, arm flopped over my forehead, etc etc.

Henry was SICK this weekend, and Chooch was “so tired” on Saturday that both of them basically slept the whole entire day and it was RAINING and COLD almost all weekend too so I couldn’t even occupy myself with copious neighborhood walks.

I mean, sure I could have gone like, to THE STORE or something but ew. Why would I.

Anyway, here are some pictures from my stupid boring weekend:


We bought two cans of this fruit ale at HMart last Monday and finally cracked them open Friday night (Henry was only partially sick at that point I guess). I love this beer! Probably because it tasted mostly like white grapes, almost like if white grape juice was poured in a glass previously filled with beer and the glass wasn’t rinsed out first.

Now we have regrets because this would be so good for the not-Xmas party we’re having but we’ll likely have to go to another Hmart to get more and the closest one is like 4 hours away or something. Fucking stupid ass Pittsburgh.

All Penelope wanted to do was sleep her life away on Saturday too and it was so annoying!!

Literally all I did on Saturday was:

  • Read
  • Return a library book / go for a walk
  • Start to watch a horror movie but paused it on the opening credits and then never returned to it
  • Watched more of season one of The Summer I Turned Pretty because I just binge-read all three books in like 4 days lol.
  • Edited pictures
  • Blogged
  • Designed the invitation to the Not-Xmas party
  • Watched a YouTube video about the downfall of the scene kid era and felt so old and also really sad because I miss those days even though I was already old when it started
  • Complained a lot about being bored and cold
  • Called Henry on the phone to see if he was ever going to wake up and come downstairs
  • Henry eventually came downstairs around 7pm!!!! but I was over it by then.
  • Did the dishes like 4x
  • Did a Paul Eugene Seniors Aerobics workout but thought he kept saying “singers” and I couldn’t understand how this particular workout was designed to help singers specifically get in shape
  • Chooch came downstairs eventually that night and took out the garbage. I asked him if he had mono or something and he just gave me a curt “cool” and went back to his lair wherein he continued to be brooding and mysterious for the rest of the night.
  • Henry went back to bed around 9pm!!!!

I slept on the couch last night because I didn’t want to deal with Sick Henry making sick sounds during the night. I apparently fell asleep to Disney walk-thru videos playing on YouTube and then woke up with Drew laying on me. We made eye contact like “Disney or GTFO?” so I guess me and Drew are going to Disney sometime soon. Who knows.

It was STILL RAINING when I woke up and I was pissed.

Henry was “feeling better” and actually did stuff around the house, little dumb bitch.


Henry: The Summer I Turned Pretty is so stupid.

Also Henry: *folding laundry at the dining room table and craning his neck to watch The Summer I Turned Pretty*

Penelope still wanted to sleep her life away today.

Chooch started his new job at Chipotle! As usual, he picked a location that is inconvenient, of course he did.

Also today:

  • I went on ONE WALK in the drizzle.
  • Henry and I went to one of the Asian markets to get some dry goods for the Not-Xmas party and things he needed to make a batch of vegan kimchi (Henry actually makes pretty good kimchi but it obviously is not authentic!)
  • I read some more. I’m reading two books currently and I sincerely hate one of them and should probably just DNF it, in fact yeah – consider it DNFd. Life is too short to waste time on shit you don’t vibe with!!
  • I got my absolute favorite KitKat flavor at the Asian market. It’s like, a wheat biscuit / digestive type center, and some type of cinnamon-y white chocolate coating. I first had it about 4 years ago and anytime I see it at the market, I have to have it regardless of the RIDIC price.
  • Said “I miss Coaster Crew” a bunch of times while editing pictures.
  • Finished season 1 of The Summer I Turned Pretty and cried like a little punk bitch and then screamed because I got tears in my hair and somehow this was repulsing to me. The show deviates from the book A LOT but I didn’t mind it. Laurel is hands down my favorite and I am Team Conrad for fucking ever. I also scream-laughed at the Jenny Han cameo because I have no life.
  • Spent time with my squirrels a lot this weekend too!
  • Had a strong urge to do another gem painting thing but can’t decide what photo I want to use for it!!!!!!
  • Watched two videos on “The VMAs from <insert year> were chaotic” on YouTube., specifically 1995 and 1997. I only vaguely remembered some of ’95 and none of ’97 because I think I didn’t care at that point of my life, but watching both of these recaps made me remember how much I hated Tabitha Soren. She was seriously awful at her job. Then Janna texted me and said Kurt Loder is 78 and the weird thing is that not too long ago at work, Nate Jabbered me about the same thing??!! Kurt my dude, have your ears been burning.

Ok I guess that’s a wrap. My big takeaway from this weekend is that I am truly not good at entertaining myself and being chill. Literally so fucking bored.

Sep 232023
 

This just in: Jean had taken this picture of us on the Bat crazy mouse and sent it to Chooch on Facebook. He only just now felt inclined to share it with me. :/ Some things to note that I may have forgotten:

  • this was one of the most intense crazy mouses I’ve been on! We spun so hard and I thought I was going to die the whole time. It was great. I couldn’t stop screaming my dumb face off!
  • this was Jean’s 1000th coaster!

Man. Now I’m really missing Jean and Larry. I hope we get to hang out with them sometime again! Larry messaged Chooch the other day and told him that he and Jean went to Cedar Point and saw Alex from Coaster Spot and it gave me the most physical tug of FOMO I think I have ever had! I want to see my Coaster Crew friends out in the wild in the US!!

Also, just for context, check out the wind:

So, I believe the first thing that happened after lunch was that I popped into the restroom and discovered that my period had started. No big deal, right? I’ll just reach into my LUGGAGE THAT IS STORED AWAY ON THE BUS AND GRAB ONE OF THE COPIUS AMOUNTS OF TAMPONS I BROUGHT.

Yeah, I had none on me and I had no access to my luggage. The bathrooms didn’t have tampon/pad dispensers and none of the gift shops could help a bleeding bitch out. The one cashier told me I would have to GO INTO TOWN AND GET SOME.

Let me remind you that this was the day we would be doing the OVERNIGHT BUS RIDE. Yeah, there was no hotel for the night. Once we left the park, we were ON THE BUS for all of perpetuity it seemed.

My one saving grace was that the hotel from the night before was on park property and we were able to go back to it without actually leaving the park. I was so worried though because we had obviously checked out, but when I tentatively approached the lady at the front desk (I walked past the young guy who came to help me first, LOL, omg men don’t know about periods, etc etc), she pulled out a big tupperware container of assorted pads and tampons and told me to take what I needed.

I took the most super-duper absorbency tampon they had plus a pad for extra protection because I wasn’t sure when we would be stopping and if procuring FEMININE PRODUCTS would be an option. First of all, definitely should have taken more but I wasn’t trying to be a greedy American. Oh, I am such a martyr. “No! Don’t worry about me! I’ll just bleed out all over the bus, please save those for someone who needs it more than me.”

I fucking hate myself.

There was a rumor that we were going to stop at a Lidl on our drive back to Copenhagen and I was so married to this idea, like I threw myself into it so hard, had a dowry to offer and everything. Lidl of GTFO! I kept casually mentioning to people too, like, “So, I heard we might stop at a Lidl…..DO YOU THINK THAT IS TRUE.” And everyone (OK by everyone I think it was just Pam and Cassie who had to yield my Lidl queries) was like, “I don’t know, maybe?”

Of course you’re probably wondering why I didn’t just ask one of the women if they had anything on hand to assist a fellow woman in her monthly time of need, and you know….great question, lol. I don’t think I considered this!?!? Also, and not to be presumptuous, but most of the women on the trip appeared to be much older than me so I’m not sure if,  you know….?? And two of the three that appeared to be younger than me were not approachable, as we’ve already discussed. So yeah, if you were wondering what was going on with me particularly in the late afternoon and evening of this date, it was just me obsessing over, you know, making a mess.

We thought this was just a random pirate ship but apparently, you could actually walk onto it! We’d discover that in a bit.

Yet another Danish fun house!

I have so many regrets. I should have got a Skum Fest!!

OK, we almost didn’t do this  maze because it didn’t seem that involved but holy shit, I’m glad we did because GUESS WHAT? On the other side of it was the entrance to a ROPES COURSE! American amusement parks need to have these!! Knoebels, get a fucking ropes course!

I must have taken this picture of a grassy rooftop while Chooch and I were still in the middle of the ropes course. (Henry conveniently left to go to the bathroom right when we started, what a lame-o.) I want to say that it took us almost an hour to complete. There were some things I couldn’t do, not even because of age or unathleticism, but because I have a fear of heights. I actually got stuck in one clubhouse-type thing because I was too afraid to climb down the ladder so I had to backtrack and literally almost cried about it.

This was how we ended up on the pirate ship though!

I really wish I could describe to you how amazing this entire course was. Luckily because of the weather, we had the whole thing to ourselves so I didn’t have to worry about children heckling me. My hands had rope burns on them, though! I really felt like I went through it, you know? But I came out the other side like, look at me now bitches.

The exit of the course brought us right into a gift shop / snack bar because of course it did. Chooch got ice cream and Henry and I shared these adorable waffles:

OMG it was so delicious and I wish I had gotten it just for myself, honestly.

Chooch also got a certificate for completing the course! I took it back over to the little podium where the pens were so that I could add my name to it and the one girl who hates me was just coming out of the course exit too. I tried to bond with her over it by exhaling dramatically and saying, “Wow, I thought that was course was going to kill me a few times!” She just looked through me like she always did and snippily said, “No, I thought it was so much fun.”

WHEN DID I SAY IT WASN’T FUN THOUGH.

*(Please note that somehow, even though Chooch stole my hair elastic to keep his diploma rolled up, it somehow failed to make it home with us. WHERE DID IT GO?? Probably in our room in Helsinki. And now, a garbage dump.)

Whatever. Then Jean, Larry, Robert, and Dawn came in and I was like, “Yay, people who actually like me.” LOL. I want to say I’m being paranoid but every time I would say, “That person who hates me,” Chooch would say, “Which person, there’s more than one.” UGH. Oof. I’m officially too old for that generation to give a shit about me, I guess!

Farup Appreciation.

LOGS!!

The really busy station for Saven.

More logs!

I dunno if Farup does a Halloween haunt but I think they could just do Camp Crystal Lake and call it day.

(I’m listening to horror movie themes – a normal thing for me no matter the season, it’s one of my preferred background soundtracks – and Friday the 13th came on right when I typed that!!)

Um. This is one of the coasters we didn’t get to ride and I was very bummed about it but some of those hardcore thoosies MIGHT have cried. I cannot confirm nor deny. Fonix was one of the most anticipated coasters for pretty much everyone, so getting to stand that close to it while not riding it was torture.

:(:(:(

I’d also like to add that we went to the main gift shop where I outed myself to the cashier as a menstruating woman oh noes three separate times. It was actually pretty comical because she kept looking at us like we were planning to stage a coup or something. No one could possibly find three separate reasons to keep coming back. Well, have you met us?? I think the last time we went was right before we were leaving and Chooch wanted to get a pair of socks because his were wet. I dunno. I just remember him buying socks and me trying to help one of the guys from our crew find the magnets but he was terrible at following my directions so I had to walk over and actually point them out to him. Then I don’t think he even bought one after that!! And they had a decent selection too, which was nice since a lot of these European parks are like “fuck merch! buy these generic toys and dish towels and instead! no, our logo is NOT on them, thank you!”

We had a tiny bit of time to kill before we could get back on the bus (and who was in a hurry, really? Our asses were about to have 13 hours or so getting acquainted with the bus seats) so we got some drinks and snacks at the cafe by the entrance. Pam and Kevin were there! So of course we sat with them. My favorite moment possibly of the whole day was when Henry came back to the table with a croissant and Chooch and I lunged across the table to rip pieces off for ourselves before Henry even had a chance to sit down.

Kevin, observing this, asked drily, “Did you know that you were buying a family croissant there, Henry?”

I died. The execution was flawless.

LOL it’s a good thing that Chooch straight up never reads my blog because he would hate this picture.

Anyway, Pam told me that the girl working at the cafe told her that all of the pictures on the wall are of people that came to Farup over the years, who sent their pictures to the owner of the cafe. She’s been collecting and displaying them for years, which I thought was so amazing! SHOULD I SEND HER A PICTURE OF US??? THIS ONE^^^, MAYBE??

Here’s the main entrance, which we didn’t get to see until we left, since we entered through the resort entrance.

Windmill.

Driving over a bridge in the windstorm (I’m so glad that I was taking shitty video from the bus window because I like that you can hear the people on the bus talking, sigh):

After we got on the bus, Tim came upstairs and asked if anyone needed a pillow, because he was going to try to stop at an Ikea. I think most of us raised our hands, so we actually stopped at an Ikea and Tim, bless his heart, bought all of us a black-and-white accent pillow that I of course kept as souvenirs – they’re on the couch in the attic game room as I write this!

Ikea was fine. I was really starting to stress out over my tampon situation so didn’t really have much of an appetite, but then felt like I needed to eat something anyway, and it was just chaos inside my head. It was funny though, 70 Americans (plus one Brit and Australian I think??) walking into Ikea moments before the cafeteria was closing. People were looking on in horror!

Chooch and I got vegan meatballs and they had to be TAKEN OUT OF A FREEZER and cooked from scratch basically, so we were the only people still standing there even after the cafeteria closed. I was so antsy because I didn’t know how long we were going to be here and what if we ended up holding up the bus???

We didn’t. It was fine. There were plenty of people who got to back to the bus well after we did!

I did run to the bathroom though before we left to check my sitch. I was still doing fine but I was hoping that there would have been a tampon dispenser in the Ikea bathroom at least. NO. NONE.

It didn’t occur to me to check the Ikea marketplace but I don’t think I would have found any there?!

I will end by saying that WE DID NOT STOP AT LIDL so I had to wait until we reached the bus driver switch-off point in Copenghagen, around 11:00PM, to fucking SPRINT across the parking lot of wherever the hell we were and snatch a FULL-SIZED BOX of tampons from the bottom shelf of a gas station – I almost didn’t even see them and thought, “This is it. This is where I become known as the broad who stained her bus seat red.” Then I flew down the steps with the box under my arm like I was a fucking quarterback for the Blood Stains and literally let out the BIGGEST exhale of my life as I shut the stall door behind me. Dude, I had *just* made it. Like, JUST MADE IT. All I can say is thank god for the absorbancy of that pad, if you KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Henry knows what I mean because I spare no detail about these things when it comes to him, and he loves me so much for that. #GIRLTALK

Anyway, I was able to sleep after this. The next post will be NORWAY!

Sep 222023
 

View from the back patio of our hotel.

Somehow, this is only DAY FOUR?!

We woke up this morning (Tuesday, August 8th) after a crazy night with seriously gnarly wind whipping at our windows with little reprieve. I honestly was kind of wondering if the park was even going to open at all. It was honestly THAT WINDY.

We had another delicious breakfast buffet because Denmark be feeding us proper-like. I had to laugh because this one guy in our group was always asking people, “Do you want to know who I would cast as [x] in my movie about [z]??” and it was always something so totally random, like he actually spent time contemplating writing an imaginary dream movie about these coaster podcaster/YouTubers called In the Loop.

Anyway, on his way back to the table after getting a juice refill, Chooch said he overheard him saying about how was eating carbs and his mom would be happy or something. So, in full-on character, Chooch says to us excitedly, “Guess who I would cast as a Carbohydrate in my movie about Nutrition??”

This is something that I think about daily. It seriously made me laugh so hard, my stomach hurt!

Chooch purposely wouldn’t let me stand next to the squirrel. :(

And yes, Chooch was still wearing shorts and t-shirts. And no, he wouldn’t let us buy him a hoodie or sweatshirt in the gift shop (but he DID go for a blanket which he used on the bus and plane for the rest of the trip like the little bitch baby that he is).

PAM!

Oh! This was around the time Pam found out that Chooch and I were trying to start a rumor that she didn’t like Henry, LOL. She said, “Oh, you guys! Poor Henry!”

When I say I miss Pam…

The back of our hotel! I imagine the front must look similar but it was dark when we arrived the night before and everyone was trying to hustle inside before what felt like a tornado swept us away.

Somehow, someway, the park was open. 4 of the 7 coasters were running. Unfortunately for us, the three that WEREN’T running were really good ones that we were all stoked for, especially Fonix. But…you can’t control the weather and we all seemed to still be in good spirits! I mean, looking back on this day, I can’t even remember fighting with Henry and/or Chooch the whole time, so I guess Farup was pumping positive energy into us.

I can’t believe this was running! There were moments where the wind was so forceful that it felt like the train wasn’t going to make the full rotation. I’m sure this was a fun coaster (we’ve ridden the clone at Dollywood) but all I remember is THE WIND.

But this park though! Even on a dreary day, it still had summer camp charm. I think this is the second time at least that I have referenced summer camp in relation to this vacation when I have never been to summer camp. In fact, the most camp-y thing I have ever done was Girl Scouts day camp which lasted for a week five minutes from my house but I still hated every single minute of it. What did we even do?? Play fucking hand jives?!

Actually, that sounds accurate.

OMG this wild mouse was so insane! First of all, the maintenance guys had to keep coming out to push some of the cars up onto the lift hill because they weren’t catching or something?! The more knowledgeable men on trip knew what was going on and were giddily filming it but I was just like, “OK that’s cool but I hope we get to ride this before they decide this is too much work and shut ‘er down.”

FUCK MALTER!! WHAT AN HONEST TO GOD COCK KNOW, AMIRITE.

Part of Saven, the family boomerang – it was fun and family-ish!

Look – I was happy because as dreary as it looked, it didn’t rain more than the occasional drizzle all day, and it was somehow less cold than the day before. I mean, yeah I was still chilly, but I had THREE LAYERS on this time and thicker socks too I think. I was golden. Just happy to be in Denmark!

Hundebar! YOU GUYS, A DOG BAR!! Obviously, there were no dogs there that night because aside from our group….there wasn’t really anyone else there now that I think about it, lol. Maybe like 20 or 30 non-Coaster Crew people, tops?? And I imagine those were hotel guests and not people who went out of their way to be there in GALE FORCE WINDS. I think this was my first time experiencing this level of air viciousness and it was really something else.

I miss Denmark bathrooms so much! And I miss grassy rooftops!

I’ve seen videos of Farup when the weather is better and this is actually a free perk and not an upcharge! In America, you would be paying extra for sure. There isn’t even an attendant, you just handle your own canoeing shit like a grown-ass capable human, and everyone moves on with their day.

Denmark moss! I can’t wait for Alyson to see this. We have an inside joke about Henry and his FURY FOR MOSS that has lasted nearly 20 years! Actually, it’s not really that much of an inside joke because I had written in my livejournal one time that Henry was absolutely savage one day at the cemetery about how MOSS IS BAD, LEAVE IT AT THAT.

Wow, someone got some moss up his ass while serving the U.S.A. it sounds like.

DOES THIS LOOK LIKE AN AMUSEMENT PARK?! It was so beautiful even on this overcast day. Just imagine it with blue skies and sunshine. Jesus.

HENRY NEVER SMILES WHEN IT’S HIS TURN TO TAKE THE #CAROUSELFIE

Lol, he was sitting on this little motorcycle thing.

Again with the woodland theming and the adorable little forest critters! Did I tell you that I didn’t see one single squirrel in Denmark?? Henry said he actually saw one here in Farup but by the time he tried to show me, the squirrel had already disappeared into a mass of trees.

Basically you guys, we got our 4 coaster creds within an hour. In addition to the ones I mentioned, there was also a kiddie coaster which sent us around three times and I majorly jammed up my shoulder on two of those laps and then tried to tell some girl about it when we exited, you know, just a “hey heads up, watch yourself when it goes around that bend over there” and she was like, “MMmm.” Don’t even get me started. Chooch loved how much she hated me though. And then were some mine train coaster that the ride op was like, “DO YOU WANT TO AGAIN” and Henry said NO at the same Chooch and I said, “Yeah sure, wooo!”

Then it was lunch time! We were like 2 minutes early but I could see people moving around inside, and for some reason we thought the doors to the pizza buffet were just “normal closed” but after we pried them open and walked in, we quickly realized that the doors were actually “we’re not ready for patrons closed” and the people I saw inside were actually employees, one of whom came jogging over and (politely) shooed us out, lol. OOPS.

As we walked back outside, the girl that I tried to befriend at the park the day before approached. I started to tell her that they actually weren’t ready for us yet and wanted to tell her about how we fucked around and found out, but she FUCKING SWERVED ON ME. You guys, I have NEVER had someone actually that blatantly desperate to not talk to me that they actually physically SWERVED and walked away in another direction. Wow. That was. Wow.

But it was fine, because then another group from Coaster Crew came over to wait with us and it was actually my first time talking to them and they were very very very nice. (Future Erin, because your memory is probably rotting by now: It was Aly and Brandon.)

Lunch with the group was a pizza buffet and holy shit, remember how when I was writing about Tivoli Friheden I mentioned that the pizza had some kind of thinly-sliced parsnip or turnip, some sort of NIP!? Well, this pizza had it too! So, I took a picture this time in order to never forget how much I loved that mystery nip.

We’re over 1500 words now so we’ll leave off here and continue on with post-lunch things in the next update. This is 50% me wanting to drag this out forever because the very last post means I have to accept that the vacation is over (I mean, I’ve been home for over a month now, so…) and 50% me being tired by the time I have some free time at night to write. I play tennis nearly every night after work, you guys. It’s my new lifestyle. *blows on nails*

Here’s Airtime Thrills’ vlog from that day! You can see Chooch and me on the kiddie coaster (he was filming for what felt like the entire cycle and it was excruciating since we were in the front seat!) and all three of us on the mine train).

 

Sep 212023
 

All I’ve been doing is frantically trying to preserve my vacation memories on here, but there is daily life crap that I want to also preserve because you know me and my memories, PICTURE THIS BLOG AS A CANNING FACTORY FOR MEMORY PRESERVES.

Now “preserves” doesn’t sound right to me.

I think I mentioned last week that Chooch and I were demo’ing three rackets from Tennis Warehouse. Let me back up: when Chooch came home one day in June and said, “Hi, I play tennis now,” we weren’t about to run out and get him some great racket, you know? Henry took him to Dick’s and he got some $30 or $40 Head racket, which is fine for a true beginner. And then when I decided on a whim to also get a racket and see if tennis was still my thing, I bought an EVEN CHEAPER racket.

Turns out, I haven’t lost all of my skill and the rust flaked off me (that was gross, I do apologize) much faster than I imagined. And Chooch, which still a beginner, has shown that he has a natural ability for tennis! Plus, neither of us got tired of it all summer and were playing like fucking maniacs. Which meant we outgrew our rackets VERY QUICKLY. I was getting frustrated because I wasn’t able to fucking WHALE the ball back with as much power as I knew I had in me, and my serves were gross.

Henry kept frowning every time we complained because I think he thought we just wanted better rackets for a status thing. But then my brother told us about the demo program. I was lowkey worried that even with a better racket, my game wouldn’t elevate. But holy shit guys, the moment I had a real racket in my hands again, it was like Erin v.1995 was BACK. Chooch was playing a lot better too and that was all the confirmation we needed to know that an investment needed to be made.

We sadly sent the rackets back yesterday BUT we bought the two that we each had imprinted on. I went with my old fall-back of Prince: once a Prince girly, always a Prince girly. Chooch went with a Babolat and it is truly eye candy. At first, Henry wasn’t on board with spending this amount of cash on rackets and told Chooch that if he wanted the Babolat, he better get a jobolat (joke’s on Henry because while we were in Chicago, Chooch was back in Pgh making moves and landed himself a job at Chipotle in the Strip lol). But I talked Henry into it because Chooch really wants to play tennis on the school team in the spring.

Anyway, last night, Chooch went to the gym so Henry went to the courts with me. My “home court” is about 20 minutes away and it pisses Henry and Chooch off so much because our ACTUAL home court is a three-minute drive from our house, in our neighborhood. I can’t help it though, I just really like Settler’s Cabin and how secluded the courts are, all nestled back by the woods. So, Henry went into coach-mode and fed me balls from across the court so I could work on my forehand and backhand, and even though I was back to playing with my fucking Barbie paddle.

This is a shit-ton of words to say that I am starting to feel like I still “GOT IT” when it comes to tennis and that maybe, MAYBE, I might want to join a league or something. MAYBE. I just know that I am having the best time (except for when I’m not i.e. when CHOOCH is being a shit) out on the court again and I feel so excited every time 5:30 rolls around and I get to log off and go play.

Plus? Wow, what a goddamn stress reliever.

In other news:

  • I made Henry go see the Kang Daniel tour documentary with me a few weeks ago and it was so much fun to relive that concert! At the end, they showed all of the pictures that were taken of Kang Daniel on stage with the crowd behind him from each city, and you could totally see Henry in the Toronto one. I told Nate and he said that Henry officially needs his own IMDB page now haha.

(IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S SLEEPING, BUT HE WAS AWAKE FOR THE WHOLE THING AND NEVER EVEN LOOKED AT HIS PHONE EVEN THOUGH WE WERE THE ONLY PEOPLE IN THE THEATER.)

  • Girl Buddy, drinking some fresh water, gotta stay hydrated, etc. I was REALLY pissed because Chooch’s only task while Henry and I were gone over the weekend was to feed the squirrels. He claims he did but I know he half-assed it because on Tuesday, Girl Buddy came straight-up galloping over to me to get a peanut, and she looked fully famished. I was so pissed. He knows I love those squirrels more than I love him, and he is clearly just jealous.

  • When we came home from – where the fuck were we Labor Day weekend?? there was action going on outside of our house. COPS were skulking around the area, walking around the church parking lot, clearly looking for someone. I was getting really agitated about this because:
    • hate me some cops
    • they were talking to my neighbors down the street (all men, FYI) about what was going on and even though I kept coming outside, that courtesy was not extended to me. So, I guess I didn’t have a right to know if I should feel unsafe, etc. Perf! Great job, pigs.

Anyway, a few hours later, I looked outside and two cops cars were pulled up along the sidewalk across from my house and down a little, and they had a young black kid CUFFED. I was like, “Oh hell, not on my watch” so I ran out to the porch to supervise. I DON’T TRUST THESE PIGS. Henry was getting really antsy and kept telling me to come back in but I had my phone held out and ready to record in case it started to get SHOOTY. They eventually uncuffed the kid and he jogged back up to where his friend was waiting for him. “It’s because we’re BLACK!” he shouted to his friend, and I said REALLY LOUDLY, “Yeah, it is AND THAT’S FUCKED UP!!!!” directed toward the cops. So then, GET THIS!!! One of the cops plopped his lazy ass into his pig-carriage, drove 5 yards (I don’t know yardage but it was like basically just driving across the street), PARKED IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE, and got out. I kept standing on my porch with my arms cross and he goes, GET THIS, “Hello.” Pig, watch your filthy-ass mouth, do not DARE speak directly at me. So, you know what I said back?? “JUST MAKING SURE YOU DON’T SHOOT ANY BLACK KIDS ON MY STREET.” I could hear Henry physically crumbling on the couch behind me. “Have a nice day,” the cop said, AND THEN STRODE DOWN THE SIDEWALK ALL CASUAL-LIKE WITH HIS HANDS CLASPED BEHIND HIS BACK. Bitch fuck you and your nice day. I don’t need your toxic masculinity-coated permission to have a nice fucking day. I’ll have a nice fucking day if I want to!! Later, Henry and I went for a walk and I was still popping off about this. I just really have a huge issue with authority. Obviously.

  • Dude you guys, we haven’t used the game room all summer! I mean, mostly because it was hot up there and also because we weren’t home very often. But yo, I’m trying to have some fall gatherings up in that neon bitch. Are you in or are you out. Probably not in October because I’ll be haunted housing, but definitely November. Pizza party or GTFO??

Oh shit, I gotta go – one of the coaster YouTubers from our trip just posted his vlog for the next park that I have scheduled to blog about!! I have to go and make sure I’m not in it. Ugh.

Sep 192023
 

We left Djurs Sommerland around 8:00PM and set off for Farup Sommerland in….Dommerborg? Looking at a map, and um, OK I guess we’ll go with that. You’d think by now I could accurately decode a map like a regular adult but no. I’m always gonna be true to myself.

The park we were leaving is to the right of Randers so that should give a general sense of the drive. I’m going to guess it was about a two hour drive.

First though, I had to take blurry building pictures like I’m in 5th grade on a tour bus all over again, and then fucking scream into the crook of my arm and we passed THIS AWFUL, DISTURBING, DISGUSTING THING:

UGH FUCK YOU!!

Anyway, this was also the bus ride where we found out that all ferry service was suspended due to this area of Scandinavia basically being hit by the biggest storm they’ve seen in over 20 years. It was called STORM HANS, I believe, and while the weather at Djurs was not ideal, it honestly didn’t seem like it was THAT intense. Well, we’d have a very different experience the next day…

I think I always updated about this from the bus the next day, but what happened was Tim, in a position I truly did not envy, was tasked with giving us our options:

Skip Norway, which was supposed to happen via ferry after departing the next day’s park, or drive all the way back down through Denmark, switch bus drivers in Copenhagen, drive across the bridge to Sweden, and basically drive UP through Sweden to Norway. This was a very contentious moment on the bus, and I was worried that the votes would be split, or lean more towards skipping Norway. I did not want to miss out on Norway! Either way, ferry or by bus, we would not really get to see much of Norway outside of the park anyway, so in my eyes, it was still worth going just for the park. I wanted to be in Norway, you guys! I wanted that country cred!

Chooch was like furiously shaking his head NO to overnight bus ride, but I was like YES, WE ARE VOTING YES AS A FAMILY. Even Henry was like, “We’re doing it. We’re going to Norway. Suck it up.”

There was MAJOR debating going on behind us amongst all the younger guys that I desperately wanted to be friends with. They were suggesting things like booking flights on Ryan Air but then someone pointed out that nearly everyone on the bus had checked bags with them so that wouldn’t work.

“All I know is that if we do this, everyone better take a mandatory shower tomorrow morning. At gun point.”

And this started a whole tense exchange with another passenger, culminating in an actual moment of collective “OOOOOOOHHHHHH”ing. It was….stressful.

First, Tim shook a show of hands and it seemed like most people raised theirs in favor of the busride. But then he came back, after conferring with his right hand man, Austin, and had everyone type out their vote on their phone so that he could just walk around and get an anonymous tally.

I confidently typed out OVERNIGHT on my phone and then pointed to Henry and Chooch, and said, “This vote is for ALL OF US” and Chooch just glowered at me. Dude, you’re 17, you can handle this. Get a grip, pal.

Later, Tim came back and said that the vote for the overnight bus ride was overwhelming, so WE WON. NORWAY’S A GO.

I mean, no, this wasn’t ideal but the fact that Tim worked to slap together an option for us, working with the current bus driver (amazing guy btw), and just overall putting himself in a really shitty position – it really meant a lot and it showed for the millionth time of this trip so far how good his character is. Honestly, I get teary just thinking about Tim and how well he took care of us. He was like, and hear me out because I’ve never actually done this as a kid, the best camp counselor ever. The kind that makes a huge impact on your life in your formative years, you know? I mean, I’ve watched coming of age camp-related movies and TV shows, so I’m basically experienced in this area.

When we arrived at the Farup Hotel that night, it was suddenly clear that this storm was no joke. The wind was INTENSE as we were trying to claim our luggage (note Henry and his Hero Complex up there assisting the bus driver – such a suck-up, it’s unreal sometimes) and I was lowkey starting to get a bit scared. Looking at the map I posted up there, I’m not sure I realized how far north we actually were.

Everyone had to congregate in the lobby while Tim called a family meeting. I thought it was going to be a CAMPFIRE TALK about being nice to one another in these tense times, but really it was just that some of the singles were going to be put in rooms for four because this was a family hotel, meaning that there were two beds for adults and then the cutest BUNK BED NOOK for kids but also large enough to accommodate adults of a certain size. I think it was mostly the younger guys that got lumped together. I know some of the older singles like Pam paid extra to get their own single supplement without having to be paired up with a roommate. This also brought back memories of the family Euro trips of the past, where there would be older women usually that ended up as roommates and sometimes they became friends, sometimes they….did not.

Chooch was STOKED for the bunk beds but he was also a fucking pistol that night and went to bed hungry; we went and got snacks but he refused to come out of his bed and indulge and then fell asleep angry and hungry – good job, brat!

Dude, these rooms though. So fucking presh. We had a little balcony but every time we opened the door, the wind was so strong that it felt like it was going to rip the door off the hinges. Just hearing the wind blasting through the woods outside our room was ominous and gave me big chills. I was really wondering if our day at the park was even going to happen the next morning.

Snacks for non-bitches. I miss Kims!! These snacks were so good.

LOOK AT THAT BITCH BABY!

Ahhhh, one of the park’s mascots is A SQUIRREL.

OK, that brings us to DAY FIVE, which we will talk about tomorrow or sometime this week, I swear.

Sep 182023
 

Good morning. It’s 10:04am and we just left Super H-Mart. I wanted to get a head start on alcohol for the Xmas party that I decided to have because it’s not actually a Xmas party but possibly A HOLIDAY THAT I INVENTED??!!

It’s hard to get good soju flavors in Pgh and makgeolli is non-existent.

Anyway!! Riot Fest was…surreal. It definitely didn’t give me as many feels overall as it has in the past so I guess I am firmly rooted in K-Town at this point. Obviously the bands still did it for me but as far as Riot Fest itself goes, eh. I was content with just doing the one day as opposed to all three that’s for sure. My body hates me enough for just the one day.

Aside from the Cure though, the best part of yesterday was seeing VICKI from our Chicago office!!! She’s part of my old group in the department and I have only gotten to see her once when she and another lady from Chicago came to our Pgh office for a few days. I LOVED hanging out with her then so I was determined to see her this weekend. I’m so happy she made time for us!!

We took the train in from where we were staying outside of the city. Henry the PubTrans expert was like WE NEED TO TRANSFER TO THE PINK LINE and when I told Vicki of these alleged plans, she said NO. DO THIS INSTEAD and told us to transfer to the ORANGE line and then she picked us up at whatever stop she told us to get off on and it was so easy – thanks Vicki! This is why we come to her at work with the hard questions haha.

Anyway, she took us to this breakfast place called STAX and poor Henry just sat there shoveling food into his mouth while Vicki and I chatted like long lost army friends. Actually this was preferable to Henry haha.

I changed my mind four times but then I saw LEMON LAVENDER pancakes and was like “gimme those NOW.”

As soon as we sat though, I took off my jacket and said VERY SERIOUSLY, “Vicki I have to tell you something that no one knows at work.”

I could sense Henry rolling his eyes because he knew what it was going to be, but Vicki was on HIGH ALERT and said, “oh my god what is it, Erin?”

Like I’m about to announce to her my pending resignation, but instead it was, “I think I may have invented a new holiday.”

“Oh Erin!” she said, letting out a deep breath and I’m over here like, what? This is a big deal worthy of a suspenseful announcement.

Anyway, she seemed skeptical but I will still invite her to the party because it will probably be worth traveling for.

(Future Henry reading this: *frowning, head shake*)

The only downside is that now that Vicki met Henry, she said she feels like she is going to side with Glenn more in group chat!!!!

Then she was kind enough to drop us off at Riot Fest afterward! What a great start to the day. It was definitely go downhill from there for a bit but then the Great Start made a comeback.

We’ll discuss separately.

It’s 10:58am and we’re in Indiana now if you were wondering.

1:33pm (the time went ahead an hour at some point here in Indiana): just ate a lunch of Kimbap and gyeongdan from Hmart in the parking lot of 7-11. I need to go back to Korea ASAP.

Now let’s look at some pictures from our Saturday ‘date’ night in Chicago (I guess it was like a date??? We held hands for like a minute):

I was wearing my Parker’s Maple Barn tshirt and it made me miss Alyson so much!

Anyway, after we ate at Chicago Diner (see previous post!) we went to Millennium Park – apparently Mexican Independence was being celebrated and the excitement was contagious!! A continuous parade of cars waving giant Mexican flags were cruising around in controlled chaos. I loved it. As someone who doesn’t really have a heritage, I’m always so interested in seeing other people celebrate their culture and history.

2:21pm: we were just a rest stop in Indiana. When I came out of the bathroom, I found Henry in line at 7-11 waiting to pay for an energy bar. Then he gets out of line, right, and comes over to me like some fucking Kevin Costner hero type and asks, “did you want something?”

Ok first of all, don’t act like a GALLANT GENTLEMAN when you were already in line to check out in the first place without a second thought about me! It was only because he saw me walk in and remembered that I existed!!!

More Chicago pictures:

I truly enjoyed walking around by the water! I think the ONE BEER I had at dinner was tampering my mood swings and making me an agreeable cutie sweetie.

I just typed that without thinking so I guess my subconscious assessment of myself is pretty generous.

There was a pretty decent public restroom along the River walk. Pittsburgh would never.

We stopped at a bar along the River walk and got another drink. I got a cider. I need you to know that this was two hours after I had a beer at dinner, and I was maybe a few more sips away from coming home with a public intoxication souvenir on my record. I was really trying to join a flash mob or facilitate a coups of some sort by the time we got up to continue walking.

I wanted Henry to take a picture of my nails but he took this in such a way that I look like I’m sniffing my fingertips?! So I made him take another but I wanted to try and cross my eyes in it:

“Were my eyes crossed??!!” I cried after he took this.

“Um, no,” Henry said, turning his phone to me so I could see.

“Oh shit OK HEAR ME OUT that’s because I was looking to the side to see if I could see myself crossing my eyes,” I said and Henry was like, “omg.”

I was definitely cut off after that. I just don’t drink very often so when I do, I’m an disaster waiting to happen. We were walking way too close to the river, if you know what I mean.

Then we walked to Firecakes, a donut place we’ve been to before while visiting Chicago. What a concept: a donut shop that’s opened until 11pm. Another thing that Pgh would never. Here you’re lucky if any bakery is opened until 2 and even then god speed if you there hoping for a full selection lol.

Anyway, it’s a very small storefront and I was trying to get a picture when some douchebag walked in along with his brigade of dick-friends and sucked all the air out of the space with their aggressive brand of toxic masculinity. As we were about to leave, the caboose of the cocktrain opened the door, which I stupidly thought was a gesture of chivalry, but instead he leaned out the door and called out to his BUDDY, “Hey Rob you want a donut??” Rob said no and then the asshole LET THE DOOR CLOSE ON ME.

“WOW! What a DOUCHEBAG!” I cried. “He totally let the door close on me! I should have stepped on his fucking Peter Pan shoes.”

He was always inside Firecakes but ROB WAS STILL STANDING THERE so I made sure he heard. Report back to your little buddy, brosef!

“Peter Pan shoes?” Henry repeated.

Yeah, you know. Those dicky leather dress shoes that are elongated and come to a point?! That’s what he was wearing. What a yuppie.

Henry got a chocolate covered banana cake donut which was basically just a donut with thin chocolate banana slices on top. I was like, “ugh you chose poorly” but then I tasted it and it was wettest-in-the-best-way donut I have ever had. So moist and delicious! I couldn’t believe it. Mine was just ok in comparison – a pistachio old fashioned which I had the last night but there was nothing else that stood out to me.

Anyway, I liked Henry’s idiot donut so much that I was just talking about it again this morning. You know what it tasted like??? Those hostess powered donuts without the powder and if they were made with better ingredients and you got to eat them that day.

But yeah, Firecakes. Try it sometime but don’t be a Peter Pan-Dick and shut the door on people, ok?

5:12pm: Holy shit this drive is boring. 1:49 left.

I’m still really giddy about this new holiday. Should I trademark it??!! I don’t want to say too much about it yet because ONE OF YOU PEOPLE MIGHT STEAL IT.

I wish I had counted how many times Henry has called me a dick this weekend. I’m starting to get a complex.

Lol @ “starting.”

I’m posting this now. Maybe I’ll be back later to say more. Who can be sure.

Sep 162023
 

Hello from Chicago! Hey. Does anyone really call it Chi-town? I was going to but then felt fraudulent because I don’t live here, like why don’t I just get the area code tattooed on my neck next, you know?

Fun fact: the first time I was in Chicago was in 2014 and I was like, “Wow…why are there so many flags of the TOMS logo?” Henry was like, “that is the flag of Chicago, numb nuts.”

Except he probably didn’t actually call me numb nuts because our life isn’t a military themed sitcom from the 60s.

What is the point of this…oh yeah. We’re in Chicago! I came out of Riot Fest retirement in order to see my beloved Cure tomorrow night. Weird not going to all three days of Riot but…this isn’t my lifestyle anymore. I literally can’t fathom doing the full 3 days anymore :|

Henry and I left around 8am and got in around 3pm. Chooch opted out. He has a life outside of my madcap schemes these days.

The ride was pretty uneventful. I made Henry tell me the answers to things like, “when did you first know you liked me” and “was I just your only option at the time?”

We went to one rest area and there was an amish couple and their child outside of the bathroom but then when I came out, there were about 20 of them and I freaked out and whispered, “they multiplied” to Henry but he was too busy looking for off-brand Chex Mix.

After we checked in to our hotel and I got super sentimental because it’s across from the arena where we saw NCT Dream, we got on the metro thing and went to dinner at Chicago Diner, finally!!

Planes flying over the metro station.

Actually getting along a little bit.

I had a Founder’s Nitro Rubaeus (? That’s what it says on the sign) Raspberry Ale and it’s good!

Actually, it’s what Henry ordered and I traded my Buckledown Pillow Party pale ale for it when he wasn’t looking. 😀

LOL my face looks like a puffalump or whatever those creep dolls from the early 80s where called.

This country fried steak is a National Treasure. (No. That is not Henry’s nickname.)

(It’s Country Fried Hank.)

I’m not kidding though, this was so good, Seitan’s Realm tier good. I have wanted to go to this place for years and it did NOT disappoint!!

LOL:

Mine was an Asian chicken sandwich with orange glaze and it was fire ( sorry Diners, Dumpsters and Dildos was on before we left the hotel and I felt a Lilliputian Guy Fieri was riding bareback on mh shoulder for a while there).

Ok yeah, real great experience. Excellent service. Our server Jose was extremely personable and laid back but not inattentive. Just a really good vibe. Highly recommend!

Then we popped into a shop next door and I almost threw up my meal when I saw this bullshit:

Fuck you, Ryan Reynolds!!!

Ok, we did other DATE NIGHT IN THE CITY bullshit (I mean sort of, we are Erin and Henry, please remember). I’m ready to crash for the night so this will be a story for another day I guess.

Sep 152023
 

Um, I took this picture yesterday of my Coffee Cup of the Day thinking that I was going to finish this post, but well, that didn’t happen so let’s pretend this is Friday’s Coffee Cup of the Day. OK great!

Speaking of this cup though, I was happy that a lot of these parks had these camping-type of coffee cups as an option so I wasn’t lugging home a bunch of freaking ceramic or whatever the standard coffee cup is made out of.

Jesus Christ. What a snoozer of an intro.

The one thing I forgot to mention in my last post was that while we were at lunch, we were taking about how shitty the weather was and Eric jokingly asked Tim if the ferry ride the next night was still going to happen.

Tim got real serious and said he didn’t know, it was up in the air and he would let us know as soon as he found out.

OH SHIT this was definitely not something that I considered – I knew the weather was shit but I didn’t realize that in other parts of Scandinavia, it was REALLY BAD. So…that was ominous!

Most of the crew remained under shelter but I was getting antsy to explore more of the park, plus I REALLY wanted coffee. And Chooch apparently really wanted a milkshake.

OMG there was this playground area that I explored for a bit with Chooch. It got precarious inside the climbing part so I gave up like the quitter I am and actually, it was a really good thing because the only way down after that point was a slide. THIS SLIDE pictured above. I happened to be standing a few feet away from the bottom of the slide when Chooch came SHOOTING out of it, skidded across the ground on his ass, and nearly knocked me over like a duck pin.

Dude. Danish playgrounds man.

Here’s an Insta reel of some of his most dumb-dumb moments in Denmark:

I loved this log flume! I saw my first ever real life SLUG just chilling on the side of the ride right before we went up a lifthill and of course Chooch didn’t believe me, so when we came back to the station, I asked the guy if we could ride again and he was SO HAPPY to send us back around. You guys, there weren’t that many people there because of the weather, and the people that WERE there were not queueing up for a water ride, mm.

Anyway, of course on the second lap, the slug wasn’t there anymore!

This was the moment I discovered that Scandinavian sprinkles ARE THE BEST. They were crunchy and tasted like the sweet part of a Sweet Tart. So amazing. I miss these so much.

Chooch said this looked like Penelope :(

We did ride some of the kids’ ride, of course! There was one young guy operating three of the rides, and he seemed genuinely thrilled when we walked up to ask if we could ride. When the ride was over, he asked us if we wanted to ride again and we were like, “Mmm, no we’re good, thanks.”

Random self-operated water slide:

Oh this ride was great once Chooch realized that he had control of when the car lifted in the air and then timed it so every time we passed one of the statues squirting water, I’d get it.

 

It was somewhere in this area where I was so giddy and laughing to the point where I REALLY almost peed my pants and had to run to the nearest bathroom. Honestly, the weather was trash but shit, it was such a good day. For the rest of my life when I think of Djurs Sommerland, I’m going to think of, well, shivering, but also laughing so much over everything!

This was the first park of the trip where we got exclusive ride time! We all met up at Juvelen at 6pm, when the park officially closed, and then we got 30 minutes of chaotic ERT on Juvelen. It was so much fun because basically when your train come back to the station, instead of exiting you’d get out the way you came in and either fill an empty seat or just squeeze back into the queue and wait for the next train rather than running all the way back around to the entrance. Everyone was really courteous and cautious though so it wasn’t like you were being mowed down by a mob of thoosies every time you tried to get off the ride. I think this was one of the first times that we rode with ALL of our group, no interlopers, and let me tell you, being on a coaster filled front to back with enthusiasts is really a fucking hype experience. The only other time this happened for us was last year at the Coastin’ by the Ocean event at Morey’s Piers – riding Great White after midnight with a pack of loud-mouth thoosies was something I’ll next forget lol.

Next, we all ran over to Piraten, where another 30 minutes of ERT went down.

ERT on Piraten!!   I just realized that Henry got to ride this with Kevin #2! I don’t think I rode anything with Kevin #2. Anyway, what I will tell you about Piraten is that it’s an Intamin Mega Lite which probably means nothing to you but if you read my recent post about King’s Dominion, it’s been compared to a mini-Intimidator 305. Which still might not mean anything to you! I thought it was fun, and I was really thrilled that we got to ride it, but it was also A BIT underwhelming. I heard people saying that the weather was preventing it from running to its full potential.

I could only last about 2 or 3 rounds on this because I was so fucking cold. Literally, the next day, my whole body ached from the amount of shivering I was doing all day long at Djurs! So the three of left the station after getting a handful of rides and hung out in the courtyard-like area next to Piraten and watched train after train being sent with the insane, unhinged Coaster Crew members. At one point, Tony came over and showed me his phone. “Look at this picture!” he cried. “It looks like the thumbnail for a clickbait post. ‘Brawl breaks out on a roller coaster!'”

Turns out, they started playing PASS THE SWORD, where the ride operator handed someone in the first row a toy sword, and then once the train crested the hill and started its descent, that person would have to pass it to the person behind me, and so on, until the last person on that side got it and would have to pass it to the person they were sitting with so that the sword could then make its way back up to the front. They had to see how many rounds the sword could be passed before the train came back to the station, and then the people in the next train would have to try to beat them.

It looked and sounded like absolute chaos. I told Tony that this was only possible because I was no longer riding – there is NO WAY I would have been able to pass that thing on a moving roller coaster without dropping it!

AND THAT’S THE THING – NO ONE DROPPED IT!!

Not my photos! I got these from the event page:

You guys, after this, we got to walk through the maintenance shed, complete with a NUDIE CALENDAR on the wall that I desperately wanted to take a picture of but the universe provided me with no good ops.

This was actually really cool. I wasn’t geeking as hard as some of those hardcore thoosies and YouTubers, but I still could appreciate it!

They were all like lovingly stroking  the wheels of the second train and naming out parts of it that meant nothing to me but I was really into it anyway. People’s excitement is contagious, you guys. I think I’m only immune to like, the excitement of Swifties.

THEN WE GOT TO WALK AROUND THE INFIELD AND EVEN CLIMB ONTO THE TRACK!!

JEAN TOOK THIS!

 

You can actually hear me sigh like a little bitch and say, “Ugh it’s so cold.” And hear that wind?!? SPOILER ALERT: It would be way worse the next day. :)

Overall, LOVED this park bigly. It was the first one of the trip this far that really felt like the type of park that we’re used to here in the states, with a wide range of rides and a really great and varied collection of coasters. I would love to come back to this park someday, especially if they ever add a new coaster to the lineup!

****

On the walk back to the bus, Eric and Marie were talking about the huge slugs they saw around the park that day and I practically threw myself at them while screaming, “OMG SAME” and then whirled around on Chooch to still scream but now with an angry tone “SEE I TOLD YOU THERE WERE SLUGS HERE!!!!” Chooch was like, “Mm.” I FUCKING SWEAR TO GOD THERE WAS ON THE LOG FLUME AND HE LOOKED LIKE ONE OF THE EXTRAS IN LABYRINTH.